WASHINGTON — The Miami Marlins completed a three-game sweep Sunday, defeating the Washington Nationals 4-2 to move 10 games over .500 for the first time in 12 years.
The Marlins improved to 41-31 and are off to the second-best start in franchise history through 72 games, behind only the 1997 team that was 43-29 and went on to win the World Series. Miami, which is 10 games over .500 for the first time since May 28, 2011, has swept the Nationals in three of its four trips to Washington since the start of last season.
“Proud of the guys and how they go about their business every day,” first-year manager Skip Schumaker said. “Win or lose, they’re going about their business right. That’s the main thing. That’s the culture we’re trying to set.”
Lane Thomas homered for Washington, which has lost three in a row and 11 of 13. The Nationals are an NL-worst 27-43 and are a season-high 16 games under .500.Read More
Washington was 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position Sunday and 4 for 21 for the series while falling to 0-6 against the Marlins this season.
“Today was just more about our offense,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. “We just couldn’t get going. We need to stop chasing in order to be really good and be effective.”
Jesús Luzardo, who was drafted by Washington in 2016, earned his first victory in three career starts at Nationals Park. Luzardo (6-5) yielded five hits and two runs over six innings while striking out five.
His lone costly misstep came in the third, when Thomas drilled a slider into the seats with a man on to tie it at 2. It was Thomas’ team-high 11th homer of the season.
From there, Luzardo permitted only one more runner to reach scoring position, allowing back-to-back singles with two outs in the sixth before Stone Garrett flied out to end the threat. The outing also alleviated the pressure on Miami’s bullpen. Closer A.J. Puk and setup man Tanner Scott were both unavailable after pitching the previous two days.
“I felt like I was getting pretty quick outs for the most part,” Luzardo said. “At times, I had some long at-bats. I’m always trying to save the bullpen. I know they’ve been taxed a lot. Those guys work a lot and they save us as starters, so when I can return the favor, I try to.”
Andrew Nardi handled the ninth to earn his second save as the Marlins, who went 6-3 on a three-city, 11-day road trip have won 16 of their last 21.
Miami went ahead for good in the fourth. After Patrick Corbin (4-8) allowed back-to-back singles to open the inning, Bryan De La Cruz hit a sacrifice fly and Jorge Soler followed with a run-scoring single to make it 4-2.
Corbin worked in and out of trouble for much of the afternoon, surrendering 11 hits and four runs. But he still navigated six innings and stranded nine Marlins, including five in scoring position.
The Marlins took the lead in the second on Jacob Amaya’s RBI fielder’s choice and added another run off Corbin the next inning on Nick Fortes’ sacrifice fly.
Marlins: 2B Luis Arraez was out of the lineup for the first time since May 25. Arraez leads the majors with a .388 batting average.
Nationals: 3B Jeimer Candelario was a late scratch with a bone bruise on his right thumb suffered Saturday. It was Candelario’s first day off since May 28.
AMAYA’S DAY OF FIRSTS
Amaya became the second player in Marlins history with a hit, run, RBI and stolen base in his first career game. The other was Jerar Encarnación, who did it on June 19, 2022, which was also Father’s Day.
Marlins: RHP Bryan Hoeing (1-1, 3.12 ERA) makes his third start of the season Monday for Miami when it returns home to begin a three-game series against Toronto.